There is a sequence early on in Ordinary Love where Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) get into an argument in their car. It is the frivolous type of disagreement that couples often find themselves in. However, in the hands of directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn the scene is layered with frustration and unspoken fear. Their film paints a compelling portrait of the uncertainty illness places on a marriage.
When Joan discovers a cancerous lump on her breast, it sends the couples whole world spiraling. As she begins the treatment process, and all the physical and emotional challenges that come with it, Tom struggles with the limitations of being a caregiver.
Ordinary Love takes its time in detailing each step of the cancer treatment process. One truly gets to understand both Joan and Tom’s plight. Thanks to the sensational, yet understated, turns by Manville and Neeson, the film never feels forced. The emotions in Manville’s physical performance flow organically, forcing the viewer to reflect on their own relationships and mortality. Filled with searing honesty, Ordinary Love is a love story that is far from ordinary.
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